Attorneys for the publisher of the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer have said they intend to stop representing him because he refuses to emerge from his overseas hiding place to testify in his harassment trial, HuffPost reported Thursday.
Andrew Anglin was sued in 2017 by a Montana woman named Tanya Gersh, a year after he urged his followers to start an anti-Semitic “troll storm” against her. Since then, he has fled the country and refused to reveal his whereabouts or attend the trial despite a court order last year.
Anglin’s lead attorney, Marc Randazza, told the judge on Monday that he had informed Anglin he would be dropping him. Randazza had apparently soured on Anglin’s refusal to cooperate or sit for a deposition, according to HuffPost. “He has gotten far more radical,” Randazza told the website last month.
Randazza has steadfastly defended Anglin over the past year, arguing that the blogger’s call to harass Gersh was protected by the First Amendment.
Other motions were far darker: One claim argued that since Anglin denied the Holocaust, posting a Photoshopped image of Gersh in an Auschwitz gas chamber could not be threatening.
Another claim was based on a Kentucky court dismissing incitement charges against President Trump for yelling “get ‘em out of here…don’t hurt ‘em” at a protester; since Anglin had written “NO VIOLENCE OR THREATS OF VIOLENCE OR ANYTHING EVEN CLOSE TO THAT” after calling for his “troll storm,” he should receive similar protections.
The judge dismissed all of these arguments in November.
If Anglin’s lawyers withdraw and Anglin himself refuses to appear, Gersh’s attorneys are likely to call for a “default judgment,” which would result in her automatic victory. This would probably result in significant financial penalties and lead to discovery of The Daily Stormer’s funding sources.
Aiden Pink is the deputy news editor for the Forward. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org